- The Plate
Syria’s Beloved Sweet Shops Follow Its Refugees Into Exile
Civil war has scattered Syria’s bakers, pastry chefs, and restaurateurs. For the foodies—and children—in their new communities, it’s a tasty turn of events.
At 2 p.m. every weekday, schoolboys in downtown Cairo pour out into the street and set off in hot pursuit of their afternoon sugar fix.
For the most impatient among them, speed is of the essence, and any of the old Twinkies or chocolate-flavored wafers—available for as little as ten cents at one of the many cornerside kiosks—will do to sate their hunger.
But for those with more discerning sweet tooths, there’s only one place on their minds. Textbooks in hand, they dash through the traffic-clogged avenues toward the Bloudan Oriental Patisserie. There, under the benevolent glare of the Assar brothers, they gorge themselves on stringy and syrupy Damascene pastries like knafeh.
“They know Syrians have the best knafeh, so they always come,”